Darrel D. Colson, Ph.D.

Dr. Darrel D. Colson became the 17th president of Wartburg College on July 1, 2009 after seven years as the chief academic officer — provost and dean of the college — at Centenary College of Louisiana in his hometown of Shreveport.

Colson was born in Venezuela in 1955. He is a 1977 graduate of Louisiana State University, with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, graduating summa cum laude with college and departmental honors.

Colson was a first-generation college student when he enrolled at LSU. He has described his undergraduate years as “a terrific experience — even a transformative one. Somewhat serendipitously I fell into some fine liberal-arts classes and grew close to some dedicated teachers in English, history, philosophy, and political science. Their classes opened up new worlds, developing within me not only a set of useful skills, but an almost unquenchable curiosity for all things under the sun.”

His experience at LSU laid the foundation for his career in higher education. Colson said he became a college professor “so that I could help young people have the same life-changing experiences I had had in school.”

While a senior at LSU, Colson married his high school sweetheart, Christy Skrivanos, who was a junior. Colson worked at the Louisiana Department of Revenue for a year, while Christy earned her degree in education. She has since taught in elementary schools and been a preschool administrator.

Colson earned both his master of arts degree in philosophy (1981) and his Ph.D. in philosophy with a minor in theology (1987) at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He taught courses in philosophy, logic, ethics and world religion at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., from 1982-87.

In 1987, Colson returned to Louisiana to become one of the founding faculty at the Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, an experimental honors college in the liberal arts and sciences established by the state board of regents. He taught there for nine years (fall 1987 to spring 1997), including courses on great books, philosophy, ethics and the Senior Colloquium: Liberty and the First Amendment. During that time, he also was coordinator of curriculum (1988-91), associate director of the college (1992-93) and president of the Northwestern State University Faculty Senate  (1995-96).

Colson accepted a position in 1996 at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., near Los Angeles as the Fletcher Jones Chair of Great Books. In addition to the Great Books Colloquium, he taught courses on Ancient Philosophy and Aristotle. He also served as president-elect of the Seaver Faculty Association (2001-02).

He again returned to Louisiana in 2002 to become provost and dean of the college at Centenary. Colson’s administrative responsibilities included overseeing all academic programs, institutional research, information technology, admissions, financial aid, the registrar’s office, Intercultural/International study, service learning, the Christian Leadership Center and the Academic Support Center. Even as an administrator, he continued to teach a philosophy class every year.

The Colsons have two children. Rachel is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and earned her law degree at Syracuse University. She lives in Washington, DC, and works for the Congressional Research Service within the Library of Congress. Jacob is a graduate of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He lives in Rockwall, Texas, with his wife Amber and their son Reid, and he works for an environmental consulting company, SRP Environmental.

The Colsons enjoy jogging, hiking and reading.

Darrel D. Colson

Janeen Stewart
Executive Administrator for the President’s Office
Secretary to the  Board of Regents

Joy Skinner
Administrative Assistant

The Wartburg College Board of Regents is a volunteer board that governs the mission and activities of the institution. The board is comprised of the following members:

Mike McCoy
Chairman of the Board
Sister Bay, WI
Retired Executive VP and CFO
Hormel Foods Corporation

Dr. Grady Ballenger 
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Student Life and Learning Committee
DeLand, FL 
Retired Dean and Emeritus Professor of English
Stetson University

Sharon Corrigan ’80
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Enrollment Management Committee
Sparta, NJ
Manager, Customer Relationship Center
Jaguar Land Rover NA, LLC

Mark Hanawalt
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Business and Finance Committee
Waverly, IA
United Equipment Accessories, Inc.

Steve Meirink ’99
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Audit Committee
Inver Grove Heights, MN
Executive Vice President and General Manager
Financial Services
Wolters Kluwer

Rachel Riensche ’80
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Governance Committee
Edina, MN

Andrea Westmeyer ’89 
Vice Chair of the Board
Chair, Institutional Advancement Committee
Johnston, IA  

Ruth Bahe-Jachna ’80
Chair, Retirement Plan Subcommittee
Hammond, IN
Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Felecia Boone ‘93
Minneapolis, MN
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant
Hennepin County, MN

Dr. Hans-Peter Brodhun     
Hon. D. ’95
Eisenach, Germany
City Planning Consultant

Jim Buchheim ‘85
De Forest, WI
Community and Social Impact Officer
American Family Insurance

Amy Kilgus Chamley
Champaign, IL
Adjunct Instructor
Parkland College
Millikin University

Dr. Darrel Colson 
Waverly, IA 
Wartburg College

Dr. Delford Doherty ’06
Houston, TX
Managing Partner
XiLema Holdings Group

Dr. Marilyn Flachman ’60 
Westminster, CO  
Retired Librarian

Dr. Mike Franzman ’00
Alumni Board President
Bettendorf, IA
Quad Cities Periodontics
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Iowa College of Dentistry

Barbara Gamez ’98
Rochester, MN
Laboratory Services and Partnership Development Director
Mayo Clinic

Fred Hagemann ’67 
Naples, FL
Retired President and CEO
State Bank & Trust Company
Cedar Investment Company

Rev. Dr. Sherman Hicks 
Chicago, IL  
Retired ELCA Director

Tammy Jackson ’83
Carol Stream, IL
Senior Director, Mission Formation for Global Leadership and Service

Rev. Brian King ’92
Cedar Falls, IA
Senior Pastor
Nazareth Lutheran Church

Kirk Kinnear ’78
Chair, Investment Subcommittee
Houston, TX
GPD Systems, LLC

Jim Loveridge ’69 
Brookfield, WI
Retired Insurance Executive 

Liz Mathis
Hiawatha, IA
State Senator
Community Engagement Director
Four Oaks

Paul Mugan ’90
Alumni Board President-Elect
Biology Teacher
Waverly-Shell Rock School District

Mike Murphy ’89
Ankeny, IA
Powerhouse Retail Services

Günter Schuchardt
Eisenach, Germany
Retired Captain
Wartburg Castle

Sara Tomson-Hooper ’89
Eatonton, GA

Rich Barnett ’84
Chubb Corporation
Warren, NJ

Jim Ellefson ’74
Judge – 2nd Judicial District
Marshalltown, IA

Jane Hartman ’68
St. Augustine, FL

Myrna Johnson ‘82
Iowa Public Radio
Des Moines, Iowa

Reid Koenig ’75
Retired, CUNA Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Waverly, IA 

Gene Leonhart
Retired, Cardinal Construction, Inc.
Waterloo, IA 

Ken Lockard
Lockard Development Inc.
Cedar Falls, IA

Jim Mudd, Jr.
Mudd Advertising
Cedar Falls, IA

Eric Rossow ’00
Aspen Dental
Denver, CO

Greg Schmitz ’83 (Chair)
Education, training, finance, and health care specialist
Waterloo, IA  

Carla Schulz ’82
Family Medicine Specialists, PC
Cedar Rapids, IA

Bill Wessels ’81
Retired Chief Medical Officer
Fish Creek, WI